Different styles and yoga instructors vary in the physical challenge they present. A person weighing 150 pounds doing an hour of Hatha yoga burns 180 calories, for example, while an hour of Ashtanga yoga burns 350 calories. Asthanga yoga is considered one of the most physically difficult schools of yoga, but even this form is outpaced by a slow run. In an hour, a runner going at a slow 12-minute-mile pace can still burn upwards of 500 calories.
So why practice yoga for belly fat?
It is true that yoga may burn fewer calories than running, but the overall health benefits like increased flexibility, improved focus, stronger bodies and relatively low risk of injury have a lot to say in favor of practicing yoga instead of or to complement other forms of fitness activities. However, because it may not burn calories at an intense pace like running or elliptical training can, yogis who would like to use yoga to burn belly fat must practice a targeted, intentional sequence of poses.
Four Tips for Practicing Yoga to Burn Belly Fat
1. Keep it moving! Choose a series that is designed to flow easily from pose to pose. Hold each pose for a minute or two and move quickly into the next pose. The fast flowing sequence should simultaneously tax your strength and elevate your heart rate, increasing the rate of calorie burn.
2. Target your practice! Make sure to use or design a sequence that strengthens your core muscles. Chair pose, plank pose, sun salutations and forward, side and back bends all target your abs, back and sides.
3. Finish and repeat! Do the pose sequence several times in order to get the maximum benefit from your practice; make sure your focus on the second and third repetitions is on correct posture since technique often begins to lag as your muscles fatigue.
4. Go long! Ideally, it takes 40 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise for your body to start burning through its fat reserves. So don't settle for a quick 30 minute session; you need to stay active for most of an hour in order to get the best fat-burning results.
© Copyright 2012 - Aura Wellness Center - Publications Division
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/
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